June 7-9: Astoria to Portland
It was our last day riding with Rob and Ness. They were headed to Seattle and we wanted to go check out Portland. We had lunch in a park then forced Rob to try a corndog because he had never had one. I don’t think he was as excited when he actually tried it. It felt so weird after we split up because we traveled the whole coast of Oregon with them! We found a place to camp just before St. Helens. It was a strange RV park but only $10 for us to pitch our tent in a small grassy area + free showers! On Wednesday we got to Portland just before 1pm. First stop = REI for some bear spray. Thanks to our friend Becky that we met biking across the country we have a great list of things to do in Portland. We crossed a couple places off the list in the afternoon. Before heading to her awesome Granny’s house. I was amazed at how many cyclists there were in the city. Bikes everywhere! A bike statue, bike lanes, bike street signs. Just before getting to Granny’s house we stopped by Night Light for nachos and happy hour! We stayed in granny’s basement for the night.
Our eventful day in the city started with a 7 mile bike ride with at least 40 other people commuting to school or work. Stopped at BlueStar for donuts. Not just any donuts…we had a lemon poppy buttermilk, raspberry rosemary buttermilk, and a sugar and spice. They were way too good! Then we took public transportation to a tunnel where we got on an elevator that took us 600ft up a hill. The elevator stopped at the zoo and then we biked 1.5 miles to the Rose Gardens. We were there at a perfect time where they were all in bloom. An iconic hill in Portland is Brynwood drive. Every week since 2002 people grab small funny bicycles and bomb down the hill that basically starts at the Rose Gardens. They call it Zoobomb. Oh, and you’re not supposed to use your brakes! So of course we had to ride down Brynwood dr. I can see how it would be terrifying on a mini bike. Theres a dedicated statue at the bottom where people lock their bikes. We flew down to stump town coffee where I got a free coffee from the really nice guy working there! For lunch we hit up the block full of food carts. I picked Wolf & Bear and got the Olea pita wrap with kalamata tapenade, eggplant, roasted red peppers, gorgonzola, and caramelized walnuts. YUM! Today is definitely a big food day! Joe got pad thai and a coconut bubble smoothie. Which was strange and delicious. It started raining so we didn’t hesitate to stop by a couple brewery’s. One was Base Camp. Joe and I both loved this place. It’s a brewery revolved around camping, hiking, anything to do with the outdoors. Joe got a smores stout and the dude roasted a marshmallow in front of us and put it on the rim.
After all of that we thought it was time to head back to granny’s house. However on our way we saw a ton of bikes crossing a few streets ahead. At least 200 bikes. We had to go follow them! It ended up being Pedalpalooza, a 3 week bike event. This was the kick off ride. We followed not knowing where we were going. There were so many different people riding. Some on unicycles, some families, bikes with huge sound systems, double decker bikes…you name it. Everyone rode to the hawthorne bridge and had a party underneath it. Super fun, but we had to get back to granny’s house. We didn’t want to go back super late. I would say we had one successful day in Portland.